Working Together: Healthcare Providers and Pedorthists
As part of the Canadian healthcare team, Pedorthists, like other footcare professionals, consult with patients based on referrals from physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals.
A Canadian Certified Pedorthist – C. Ped (C) – is one of the very few healthcare professionals who are educated and trained in how to assess, modify, design and fit custom-made orthotics, footwear modifications and footwear.
Once a referral is received, a pedorthist must:
- conduct a thorough clinical assessment, biomechanical examination and gait analysis
- develop an evidence-informed treatment program based on assessment findings including recommendations for orthopaedic products
- write a prescription* for the orthopaedic products indicated (as well as manufacture the products)
- dispense the orthopaedic product along with relevant education and information
- provide the necessary follow up and adjustments to optimize outcomes
*An orthotic prescription is actually the detailed instructions on how the custom orthotics are to be made. The prescription specifically outlines the parameters of design, materials, composition and fabrication of the orthopaedic product intended to treat each patient’s unique medical needs based on the findings of the foot care professional’s clinical assessment, biomechanical examination and gait analysis.
In order to determine the need for custom made foot orthotics, orthopaedic footwear, modifications and custom made footwear, a very thorough clinical assessment, biomechanical examination and gait analysis must be performed to determine if one of these products is an appropriate treatment for the presenting medical condition. Only qualified foot care professionals have the expertise, training and education required to assess, develop a treatment plan, prescribe, design, manufacture, deliver and modify these orthopaedic products.
However, successful outcomes are highly dependent on the collaboration of healthcare professionals from many disciplines to ensure a high-level of quality in patient care.
Including a Canadian Certified Pedorthist in a patient’s healthcare team, adds specialist expertise in the treatment of mechanical foot pain, abnormalities and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet. Canadian Certified Pedorthists spend up to one hour in their initial patient assessment to look at the whole ‘mechanical foot’ picture and then provide the correct treatment in collaboration with the patient’s referring physician, nurse practitioner or other healthcare professional.